Wherein I Chat About ‘Invisible-isation’

I’m a peaceable gal by nature. I live my life according to my personal code of ethics and have people in my life who do the same.

Most of the time I post about the aspects of my life that have to do with writing, (or cats, and glaciers) or things that impact my life. (and therefore my writing) But occasionally something gets up my goat (mixed metaphores, I know) and I choose to speak about it.

Recently a young woman did a television interview and said some rather interesting things. The interesting bit starts at about 1 minute in.

I thought to myself, like Oprah, ‘she’s gonna cop some flack for that’, and although I disagreed with her point of view, I let it slide because hey, live and let live, right? And, in a much more perfect world than this, she’d be right.

Then, on my favourite go-to website for bubblegum/pop culture/ occasionally serious, lesbianly (and very U.S.-centric) stuff, AfterEllen, someone had taken up the cause to defend the young woman. 

***

There’s a danger here.

This is the ranty bit:

Yes, by all means. Let’s de-label ourselves to invisibility.

Again.

It worked out so well for us last time.

It’s working out so well for us at this very moment, all over the world.

It’s working out so well for us right in our own backyards.

 

And this is the more nuanced bit:

It’s imperative that we continually define and redefine ourselves. It’s what we do after all. And I don’t begrudge us wanting to shift the weight of outmoded, oppressive, offensive labels from our shoulders. It’s how we grow. It’s how our tribes, and the larger society we inhabit, evolve.

But in doing so, we can’t afford to dismiss the bloody and hard won battles that have given some of us on this planet the privilege of labeling ourselves ‘label-less’. Those battles to claim our label, to claim our tribe, are still being fought by a horrifying majority of us.

Personally, I doubt the rallying cry is, ‘I am not a label’.

And finally, a slight segue but still on topic, Jove Belle writes eloquently about her concerns on the ‘invisible-ising’ of feminism at Women and Words.